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This history of Las Vegas covers both the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the Las Vegas Valley.
Las Vegas was coined by Mexican scout Raphael Rivera, who was part of the Antonio Armijo trading party headed to Los Angeles, in 1829 who used the water in the area while heading north and west along the Old Spanish Trail from New Mexico. In the 19th century, small parts of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas, hence the name Las Vegas, Spanish for The Meadows. The flows from these wells fed the Las Vegas Wash which runs to the Colorado River.